in·​ward | \ ˈin-wərd \

Definition of inward

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : situated on the inside : inner
2a : of or relating to the mind or spirit inward peace
b : absorbed in one's own mental or spiritual life : introspective
3 : marked by close acquaintance : familiar
4 : directed toward the interior


\ ˈin-wərd \
variants: or inwards \ ˈin-​wərdz \

Definition of inward (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : toward the inside, center, or interior
2 : toward the inner being



Definition of inward (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : something that is inward
2 inwards\ ˈin-​ərdz , -​wərdz\ plural : innards

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for inward

Synonyms: Adjective

inner, inside, interior, internal

Antonyms: Adjective

exterior, external, outer, outside, outward

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of inward in a Sentence


moved towards the inward room for more privacy he's more inward with the president than most members of the cabinet


The window faces inward toward the courtyard. He turned his attention inward.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The researchers reported that the sheer weight of the galaxy, from its huge cloud of gas, puts so much inward pressure on the monster's body that the outward pressure of its spin can't compensate. Rafi Letzter, Fox News, "This ancient 'monster' galaxy should have destroyed itself," 30 Aug. 2018 Under this electric sky, find the balance between your outward expression and inward reflection. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What Your Sign's August 2018 Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 30 July 2018 On Wednesday, November 7, the new moon in Scorpio blankets the sky, and this is a time for inward reflection. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What Your Sign's November Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 28 Oct. 2018 With just nine races left until the Chase begins, such inward reflection is becoming increasingly important for the native of Monterrey, Mexico. Deaundra Allen, charlotteobserver, "Suarez looks to use Coke Zero Sugar 400 as stepping stone," 6 July 2018 In front of the wolf, which really is lurking around like an unsubtle metaphor at this point, June emits a primal scream that is an expression of all of her inward trauma., "The Handmaid's Tale Season 2, Episode 11 Recap: The Wolf Is A Metaphor," 27 June 2018 Yoga postures that provide an inward rotation of the shoulder, like Cow Face Pose, create balanced flexibility. Author: Christine Cunningham, Anchorage Daily News, "How the Cow Face Pose can make you a better duck hunter," 19 June 2018 Buy Photo For many Muslims, Ramadan brings a month of inward reflection, a time to get along with one’s fellow man and perform charitable acts. Allison Steele,, "Ramadan a time for peace, joyful celebration - and nightly feasts," 5 June 2018 O'Malley: Lottie is such an inward character that almost everything is outside her comfort zone. Will Nevin,, "Interview | Writer Bryan Lee O'Malley, artist Leslie Hung on the second, slimy arc of 'Snotgirl'," 21 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

That means a focus inward on domestic priorities, such as cracking down on crime and corruption, that will restore Brazil’s status as a rising power. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Decoding Bolsonaro’s “make Brazil great” foreign policy," 31 Oct. 2018 This is a wonderful time to focus your attention inward and reflect on your relationships, responsibilities, and — perhaps most importantly — boundaries. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What November's Leo Horoscope Means for You," 28 Oct. 2018 And layers that angle inward on the sides will build height and body at the crown. Jessica Chia, Allure, "The Best Hair Loss Treatments for Every Budget," 15 Oct. 2018 The headset is studded with tracking cameras for mapping your environment, as well as inward-facing eye-tracking cameras. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "I tried Magic Leap and saw a flawed glimpse of mixed reality’s amazing potential," 8 Aug. 2018 Clamp it to a chairback to capture kitchen antics, or face it inward from a bike’s handlebars to see your kid’s reaction to their first ride. Michael Calore, WIRED, "Google Clips Captures Your Family Memories, Courtesy of AI," 24 June 2018 What’s more, contrary to most film depictions, the arms of T. rex and many other dinosaurs were built such that their palms would have faced inward rather than downwards. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Five Ways Real Science Would Make the New Jurassic World So Much Better," 12 June 2018 These inward-facing rooms are much quieter than those that back up to U.S. 101. Marc Stirdivant,, "There's more to Carpinteria than choppy surf and blowing sand on a spring weekend escape," 29 Mar. 2018 Guterres, who heads the 193-member U.N., warned of the dangers of nations turning inward in a speech that was the inverse of Trump's. Matthew Pennington, Fox News, "At UN this year, it's Trump versus the world," 25 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Bengoechea had pulled a medieval-looking flag from the Palazzo’s exterior through a window, allowing the flag to spill inwards, and cover the exquisite marble work like a carpet. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "In Her New Book, Wendy Goodman Asks May I Come In? Thankfully, a Lot of People Said Yes," 4 Oct. 2018 Such satellites would likely be lost during the chaos-inducing inward migration undertaken by these giants after their formation, the thinking goes. Mike Wall,, "First Exomoon Found? Neptune-Sized World Possibly Spotted Orbiting Alien Planet," 3 Oct. 2018 In the Charlottesville City Council, anger and resentment over last year’s march quickly turned inwards, as progressives went to war with themselves. James Loeffler, WSJ, "The Struggle for Charlottesville," 10 Aug. 2018 Aikens rallied on his inward nine and squared up his match vs. O’Leary with a birdie on No. Mia Berry,, "Defending MassAm champion Matt Parziale falls in quarters," 12 July 2018 July’s promise to you is something far greater and more enduring, and the temporary discomfort of quieting down and turning inwards will be well worth it. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Monthly Lovescopes July 2018," 2 July 2018 And so, in the months since my own diagnosis, my response has been to try and look outwards as well as inwards. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Inward Empire," 27 June 2018 The white garage door on the victim's house looked warped inwards, with enough space for someone to enter or exit. Jordan Cutler-tietjen, sacbee, "His friend said he wasn't returning calls. Homicide detectives now are investigating his death.," 24 June 2018 Do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in your right hand, palm facing inwards towards the torso. Emily Abbate, GQ, "The Best Abs Workouts: GQ’s Definitive Guide to Getting a Ripped Stomach," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inward.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of inward


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for inward


Middle English, from Old English inweard (akin to Old High German inwert), from in + -weard -ward entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about inward

Statistics for inward

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inward

The first known use of inward was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for inward



English Language Learners Definition of inward

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to a person's mind or spirit

: directed or moving toward the inside of something



English Language Learners Definition of inward (Entry 2 of 2)

: toward the inside of something

: toward the mind or spirit


in·​ward | \ ˈin-wərd \

Kids Definition of inward

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : toward the inside or center an inward curve
2 : of or concerning the mind or spirit He felt inward joy.


variants: or inwards \ -​wərdz \

Kids Definition of inward (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : toward the inside or center The door opens inward.
2 : toward the mind or spirit I turned my thoughts inward.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on inward

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inward

Spanish Central: Translation of inward

Nglish: Translation of inward for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inward for Arabic Speakers

Comments on inward

What made you want to look up inward? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!